• What Are Receding Gums?

    What are receding gums?

    Receding gums are when the gum has pulled away from the surface of the tooth to expose the root of the tooth. Receding gums lead to sensitivity and in severe cases tooth loss. Because of the way the gums support the structure of the tooth, receding gums are a serious dental issue.

    There is a range of reasons your gums could be receding. Many of the causes of receding gums are easily fixed by avoiding certain habits. An abrasive toothbrush such as the medium or hard bristled style is a common, and unexpected, cause of receding gums. Aggressive brushing is another way the gum can be damaged, leading to receding.

    Smoking causes irritation to the tissue of the gums and limits blood supply to the gums, which in turn leads to receding gums.

    Misaligned teeth increase the risk of receding gums due to the excessive force placed on them during the brushing of teeth which encourages the loss of gums around these areas. Teeth grinding similarly leads to the loss of gum since teeth tend to flex along the neck of the tooth which is located near the gum line and although appears as an abrasion, it contributes to the receding gums where there is damage to the enamel.

    Orthodontic therapy that moves teeth too quickly may not provide enough time for the gum to reform around the effected teeth. This can also lead to bone loss around the tooth and then receding gums. In severe cases it can also destroy the roots of a tooth.

    Finally, receding gums can be caused by gum disease, which is an infection under the surface of the gum and the teeth. Antibodies attack the bacteria that have formed and this creates inflammation and destruction of the fibres which attach the teeth to the gums.

    If your gums are receding, see a dentist to discuss options available to you.

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